News | How Kenya put up a rickety fence worth $340 million to stop Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorists but has nothing to show for it

How Kenya put up a rickety fence worth $340 million to stop Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorists but has nothing to show for it

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  • The wall, dubbed the Kenya-Somalia Border Securitisation Project, was mounted in 2015 to secure the country from attacks by Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorists.
  • Four years later and there is nothing much to show off apart from barbed wire and a chain-link fence covering just 10-kilometre stretch.
  • Hon Duale, who is also the member of parliament for Garissa Town, says, in fact, there is no wall to begin with but a weak fence.

Kenya has nothing to show for a much-touted wall it erected along the Kenya-Somalia border and which has already gobbled up Sh3.4 billion of taxpayers’ money.

The wall, dubbed the Kenya-Somalia Border Securitisation Project, was mounted in 2015 to secure the country from attacks by Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorists.

Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorists.

Four years later and there is nothing much to show off apart from barbed wire and a chain-link fence covering just 10-kilometre stretch. Members of Parliament now want to get to the bottom of it and have called for investigations into how Sh3.4 billion was spent.

“I have no problem with the wall, but you cannot use the threat of insecurity to steal and plunder money. The chair of the committee must bring a recommendation to this report to say that there is no value for money and that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) must move in,” National Assembly’s Leader of Majority Aden Duale said Wednesday.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale

Hon Duale, who is also the member of parliament for Garissa Town, says, in fact, there is no wall to begin with but a weak fence.

It is not even a wall, it is a fence. The people who duped the country that there is a wall to be built must be investigated,” said Mr Duale.

Minority Leader John Mbadi has since demanded that the Interior ministry tables details of the Sh3.4 billion expenditure. The legislator questioned why the country undertook the project on its own yet the terrorist threat extends beyond Kenya’s borders.

This is too mechanical. It looks like the Egyptian pyramids. It cannot work in modern Kenya,” said Mr Mbadi.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale with Minority Leader John Mbadi during a past public function

Scandal ridden state organ, the National Youth Service (NYS) is the project contractor.

By the time the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government handed over the project to the Ministry of Defence, 10 kilometres of wall had already been done from the BP1 past Mlima Fisi.

Further, another seven kilometres of ditch construction had also been done,” states the inquiry report.

The Kenya-Somalia Border Securitisation Project

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) engineers had estimated that the entire 700-kilometre length of the border would cost a total of Sh8 billion ($80 million), but it has since emerged that nearly half of that amount was spent on only a 10-kilometre stretch.

The Defence and Foreign Affairs parliamentary committee, chaired by Kajiado South MP Katoo Ole Metito, says in a report that the project involves border fence installation using chain-link, razor wire, barbed wire, angle bars and concrete posts.

It also involves the excavation of a side ditch, upgrading of border posts and construction of border control roads.

President Uhuru Kenyatta

The project was sanctioned by the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015.

It was divided into three with the Northern Sector covering 160 kilometres costing Sh3.5 billion while the Central Sector, the longest covering 445 kilometres, was estimated would cost Sh1.9 billion.

The Southern Sector covering 105 kilometres was expected to cost Sh2.6 billion when complete.

Security personnel patrolling the Kenya-Somalia border in Mandera's Point One area.

The Northern Sector covers Mandera and Elwak, Central Sector(Elwak to Libat) while the Southern Sector starts from Libat to Kiunga.

KDF engineers undertook the original estimated cost of the wall, which is classified as a national security project.

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By Kwame Ntow 14/03/2019 07:58:00